Ferrari has had a lot to say about Liberty Media’s vision about the sport of F1. There is an air of uneasiness around the sport and will be so until a middle ground is reached with respect to the new rules and regulations(which kick in from the 2021 F1 season).
Liberty have come out and countered Ferrari’s threat of leaving the sport all together, if the proposed engine regulations go through and if a budget cap is introduced.
Ferrari already has a veto with respect to stopping such change in rules, having last exercised this veto in 2015 when it blocked the introduction of a maximum price for engines and gearboxes.
FIA President, Jean Todt believes that Ferrari’s veto powers should be withdrawn as they were initially provided with the idea of giving the Italy based side with some say in a largely English dominated sport.
“The veto was at the time of Enzo Ferrari, and he was isolated in Maranello,” said Todt.
“That was the only team supplying engine and chassis against some other teams that were all powered by Ford.
“So at this time, it was decided that being away from what is called the silicon valley of motorsport, they needed to have a protection. That is the story about the veto.
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“But personally, I feel now I am not in favour of that. Times have changed.” he added.
Todt wasn’t in favour of providing Ferrari with veto powers in 2013 itself, the last time the rules were being drafted.
“I was the only one against. The only one,” he said. “I remember it was a meeting in Paris at the Place de la Concorde, in the FIA headquarters. It was the commercial rights holder. All the teams were there.
“And I said what is the position of the veto for Ferrari? They said ‘it was fine for us’. So it would have been inappropriate for me alone to say that I am against the veto right to Ferrari. The only thing is we modified the wording of it. So that is part of the answer.”
However, Todt believes that Ferrari should be paid more than other teams because of the amount of eyeballs it brings to the sport of F1.
“For me, is it normal that Leonardo DiCaprio gets more money than a TV series actor? Yes, it is normal. So, again that is life. The better you are, the more money you should get.
“In this kind of activity, I feel it is normal they get more money. It used to be they were getting more money with worse results. Now they get more money with among the best results, so it makes sense.” Todt said.
Todt also spoke about Ferrari’s threat of leaving F1 and that it actually might happen.
“They may leave. And honestly, that is their choice,” he said. “They are free. Definitely I hope they will not leave. But it can always happen. You have seen big competitors leaving. Coming back. But again. It is their choice.
“Knowing those people who are smart business people, who are rational people, in a way, now, that is why we also we want to reduce the costs.
“I feel that a company like Ferrari, racing should not be spending. It should be at least equal and even should be revenue – business revenue.
“That would be much more healthy than what it has been over the years, where it is too much of spending and that is why it puts very often teams under difficulties.
“At the moment I am sure now – it is about six to seven teams who are struggling in F1. So it is not acceptable to have the pinnacle of motor sport where 60-70 percent of the field are struggling to survive.” he concluded.